Drug abuse and Social implications

If you do not have a family member, friend or colleague that is directly affected by drug abuse, you most probably think that it is something that only happens to other people. And we would all love to say that alcoholism and drug abuse is not our problem. But it is. Drug abuse is everyone’s problem because it is a social problem.

If you look at the statistics from numerous studies that have been carried out in Britain in recent years, you will see that drug and alcohol abuse is a growing problem in our society. Data published by the ONS (Office for National Statistics) has highlighted the fact that drug-related deaths in England and Wales have reached record highs. Opiates, like heroin and morphine, are still the most commonly abused substances in the UK but deaths involving cocaine abuse have doubled between 2015 and 2018.

Britain has the highest rate of addiction for opioids and the highest number of life-time abusers of class A drugs in Europe and approximately 1 in 10 adults (between 16 and 59 years old) use illegal drugs.

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Drug abuse is not a victimless crime

Drug addicts might like to believe that they are not hurting anyone else but that is just not true. Drug addicts hurt their family members and the people closest to them the most, but it has a ripple effect. Substance abuse leads to numerous physical and mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, heart complications, liver disease, kidney dysfunction and cirrhosis of the liver. Withdrawal symptoms can also have a detrimental effect on your health and in severe cases, the detox process can be life-threatening and include seizures, heart arrhythmia and delirium tremens.  Addicts usually also suffer financially as they can no longer perform at work or hold down a decent job.

Drug dependence makes it hard for people to maintain strong personal relationships and the destructive nature of substance abuse leads to a breakdown of the family unit and this in turn results in a number of social and behavioural problems for people in their teen years. There is also a correlation between drug abuse, social problems, antisocial behaviour and crime in many areas. People under the influence of drugs and alcohol have lowered inhibitions and this makes them more likely to commit crimes or indulge in antisocial behaviour. Petty theft to obtain funds to buy drugs is also more common in areas with high drug usage. Drug abuse places a huge burden on the financial and human resources of the NHS, police force and legal system and this affects every person living in the UK and that is why drug abuse is a social problem as well as a personal one.

Drug addiction and brain illness

Drug addiction is recognised by the majority of medical professionals as a brain illness, but it is often still misunderstood by many people. People who have never suffered from drug dependency or had close contact with an addict often don’t realise how destructive and all-consuming the disease of addiction can be. They see drug addicts as people who can’t control themselves and have chosen to do something that they know is against the law. But addiction is far more complex than that and there are many underlying factors that influence a person’s susceptibility to addiction, including trauma, depression, pain and bereavement. Addiction is often the symptom of the problem rather than the cause.

Drug problems are not just confined to taking illegal substances and street drugs, like heroin and ecstasy. In the past few years, there has been a marked increase in people in the UK being admitted to rehab for addiction to prescription drugs. Many people become addicted to prescription medication as a result of injury or trauma. They are initially prescribed the drugs for a good reason but due to the potency of certain prescription medication, it is easy to become addicted. When they can no longer get a prescription from a doctor for the medication that they have become addicted to, these people will turn to illegal drugs that they can buy on the street or the dark web to get their fix.


Treatment for drug addiction can be successful

Drug addiction is a social problem that needs to be taken seriously by society as a whole and not be swept under the carpet. One of the best ways to deal with drug dependency is for the addict to get the help that they need and for their family to be supported through the recovery process. Fortunately, there are a number of detox and rehab options for addicts in the UK. There are programmes that are provided by the NHS as well as private treatment options.

Residential rehab treatment has proved to be one of the most effective ways of treating drug addiction. One of the reasons that residential rehab is successful is because it removes you from the toxic environment and people that are enabling your addiction and allows you to focus solely on your recovery without distractions and temptations. This gives you the best opportunity to regain control of your life and make good decisions regarding your future.

Residential rehab usually starts with an in-depth interview to establish the severity, frequency and length of your addiction. When you are admitted to a residential rehab facility, if necessary, you will undergo medically assisted detox and be given prescription medication to wean your body off drugs and help you cope with the withdrawal symptoms. This is a necessary step for people who are suffering from severe long-term addiction as some of the withdrawal symptoms from drugs and alcohol can be life-threatening. After you have completed the detox process you will take part in rehab therapy sessions. This will usually include cognitive behavioural therapy, group support, family sessions and one-on-one counselling.

Ocean Recovery & Wellness Centre has helped thousands of addicts overcome their addiction and regain control of their lives. The road to recovery begins with the first step and you can contact us at any time to get more information and advice on treatment options.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: September 25, 2021

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.